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  • Tina Lowenthal (right), director of procurement for Purchasing Services, accepts the 2018 Team Impact Award on behalf of the P2P team.
    Tina Lowenthal (right), director of procurement for Purchasing Services, accepts the 2018 Team Impact Award on behalf of the P2P team.
06/05/2018 11:36:13

Caltech Service & Impact Awards Honor Staff Excellence

May 31 event recognized individuals and teams for their service to the Institute

At the 63rd annual Staff Service & Impact Awards ceremony on May 31, Caltech President Thomas F. Rosenbaum presented awards to 289 staff members for their years of service and contributions to the Institute. Two employees have served the Institute for 50 years (Pat Anderson and Bob Logan); three for 45 years; six for 40 years; 14 for 35 years; 25 for 30 years; 35 for 25 years; 61 for 20 years; 49 for 15 years; and 93 for 10 years.

Julia McCallin, associate vice president for human resources, served as master of ceremonies for the event, while Provost David Tirrell (who is the Carl and Shirley Larson Provostial Chair at the California Institute of Technology) and Kip Thorne (BS '62), Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, both gave speeches underscoring the vital importance of Caltech's staff members to the accomplishment of the Institute's scientific mission.

The event also included the announcement of two awards, one honoring individual achievement and another recognizing the impact of teams making significant contributions to the work of the Institute.

Manuel (Manny) De La Torre, stockroom lead for the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, received the Thomas W. Schmitt Annual Staff Prize, which honors a staff member whose contributions "embody the values and spirit that enable the Institute to achieve excellence in research and education."

Nominators cited De La Torre—whose duties include managing equipment and supply procurement for multiple labs—for his hard work, cheerful attitude, and eagerness to help others. In the words of one supporter, De La Torre makes those he works with feel "like you're part of a winning team."

The Procurement and IMSS Teams won the Team Impact Award, which recognizes "teams that make significant contributions to the work and mission of the Institute" and are able to demonstrate work that has impacted and supported its research or education programs.

The teams' P2P project—which saw members working with vendors, Caltech divisions, and employees to implement a new and efficient payment-and-invoice processing system for the Institute—"meaningfully responded to years of frustrations many [on campus] had with old ways of integrating purchasing and payments," one nominator wrote. "This has taken an incredible amount of effort, and yet they have maintained positive, even cheerful attitudes throughout."

The other Team Impact Award nominees were: Applied Physics and Materials Science Administrative Team; Custodial Project Team; IMSS Help Desk & Advanced Help Desk; Mail Services; Office of Laboratory Animal Resources; PMA Student Support Team; Residential Life Coordinators; and Student-Faculty Programs.